State House candidate once victim of keg tossing incident by Gators football playerby Andrew Abramson | November 22nd, 2011
Eagle, a 28-year-old Republican, announced earlier this month that he would seek the seat vacated by Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral.The incident occurred in 2004 when Eagle was 21. Eagle told The Tampa Tribune at the time that he asked a group of Gators football player standing near a beer keg to quit throwing ice at people so the 200 guests at the house party could enjoy a Jell-O wrestling match.
Eagle said he was sucker-punched in the face, and later jumped into the ensuing brawl to help defend his friend, a tenant of the house.
Then came the flying keg, which could have done even more damage had someone not deflected it before it hit Eagle in the face. Eagle, who was already lying on the ground when the keg hit him, was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion, broken nose and required multiple stitches.
“We thought he had died,” a friend of Eagle’s told The Tampa Tribune in 2004. “He was already laid out on the floor.”
At the time, he said he would need reconstructive surgery so he could breathe out of his right nostril. But on Tuesday, Eagle told The Palm Beach Post he never had the surgery.
“I’ve still got a crooked nose I’d love to get fixed one day,” Eagle said. “It builds character. I’m still not breathing out of one nostril too well. But it never really bothers me.”
The instigator, linebacker Charles, was kicked off the Gators football team and initially charged with a felony before the charge was dropped to a culpable negligence misdemeanor.
Before the incident, Charles was the subject of the documentary Year of the Bull about a football player who had persevered after being raised in an impoverished Miami neighborhood.
Charles’ stock severely dropped after the keg incident, and the one-time NFL prospect was recently listed on the roster of the Ultimate Indoor Football League’s Danville Dragons. Eagle appears to have won that battle.
“Unfortunately in college you run into situations like that, where you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Eagle said on Tuesday. “It definitely was a very peculiar situation. I remember it was on ESPN, Sportscenter. It was all over the place. It was funny.
“It doesn’t even cross my mind these days, it was so long ago. It was just a little blip in history. I have a nice little scar on my lip.”